I love watching the wildflower emerge every spring in the wooded trails in my area. It’s a game to see if I can remember all their names.
But before the flowers…there are wild leeks or ramps. It’s a ritual to make at least one pot of leek and potato soup each spring with freshly foraged ramps. If you’ve done this before, you’ll know you need to harvest them with a heavy duty trowel. They do not give up the earth easily.
This year I tried a Jamie Oliver recipe for the soup. I sautéed leeks, carrots and onions in a combination of butter and oil. Added in baby potatoes cut in cubes, simmered it all in a mix of veggie and chicken stock. Then finished it off with a rough blend, some cream, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. And feta.
Thank you nature for the great things you grow.
Well, I call them wild leeks, but you might know them as ramps or Allium tricoccum. Pungent deliciousness that mother nature offers up in the spring as one of the first wild edibles, wild leeks bring a strong flavour that mixes onion and garlic in a powerhouse bulb about the size of green onion.
For years on early spring hikes, I’d try and dig them up with my fingers. I’m (slowly) learning to be a smarter, better equipped forager. I packed a garden trowel for my hike this past weekend, returning to a route where I’d seen leeks last year.
I harvested a healthful handful. And that’s an accomplishment. They don’t dig up very easily. They love wooded areas, often snuggling in against downed tree limbs, with roots that run deep into a hearty layer of decaying leaves.
I’ll be turning this bunch into something like this (wild) leek and potato soup.